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Cell phone for a world cruise

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What is the best cell phone service company for world cruising?

 

There is no one company that will be good for a world cruise . On land every country will slightly different in the type and set up of cell service. The only consistent cell usage will be on board the ship.

The only way to get a proper answer is to talk to the different companies

as to where their phone can be used.

 

Here are links to world cell phone service

 

http://www.telestial.com/gsm_phones.php

 

https://www.mobal.com/international-cell-phones/

 

If you do a google service there is more info.

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We have TMobile and are able to text for free in most countries. Not sure if you need to make a lot of calls but the free texting has worked great for me.

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We have TMobile and are able to text for free in most countries. Not sure if you need to make a lot of calls but the free texting has worked great for me.

Thanks ,, did you get it in the U.S. what type plain do you have ?

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We got our phones in the US and the International texting came standard, I think. I don't remember us having to get a special plan for it. When I arrive in a new country I get a text from TMobile that says they know I am in Country X and texting is free and usually how much it costs per minute to make a call. Usually the per minute cost is 50 cents. The only country I've had to pay for texting was in Honduras and there it was 59 cents per text.

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Have friends who use Facetime and/or Google to talk with their families while on a cruise. They were able to find either free or reasonable WiFi in most ports (and it was a world cruise) so it worked well for them. We're sailing away: they will be on the 2016 WC so you can ask them about this while on board. They would let the kids know when they would probably be calling. Does tie all to their computer but it was basically a 'free' call.

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Have friends who use Facetime and/or Google to talk with their families while on a cruise. They were able to find either free or reasonable WiFi in most ports (and it was a world cruise) so it worked well for them. We're sailing away: they will be on the 2016 WC so you can ask them about this while on board. They would let the kids know when they would probably be calling. Does tie all to their computer but it was basically a 'free' call.

Thanks for the info ..

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We live in the USA:

 

1. we got brand new iPhone 6s with great connectivity.

2. we got Tmobile with free data in 120 countries around the world.

 

It worked like a charm. It is not 4G rather it is 3G. However compared to the ship's wifi it was great. Calls home were .20 cents a minute to the USA. We were very happy to have this service on our 109 day circumnavigation trip.

They do not require a contract so you can cancel service when you get home. We did get iPhones optimized for Tmobile which helped.

 

Highly recommended

Edited by ijkh

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We have TMobile and are able to text for free in most countries. Not sure if you need to make a lot of calls but the free texting has worked great for me.

Have you tried using wi-fi calling with T-Mobile? Presumably if it's communicating via wi-fi and not the cell tower, it doesn't care what country you're in? (I've only got T-Mobile last year and haven't had a chance yet to travel with it internationally).

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Wifi calling is the same as data if you have the "voice and data turned off". The data is ONLY free in the countries indicated by Tmobile. You get a happy little text message when you 'arrive' in a new country from Tmobile. The message will tell you whether it is a free country or not. I have a fun souvenir on my cell phone from all the countries we visited.

 

Do NOT call if it is not one of the free countries. If in doubt you can ALWAYS call Tmobile for free from anywhere and ask the nice agent in the USA if this a free call port or not.

 

The service for us was very good. Double check with Tmobile if calls over wifi are free. They may have closed that loophole. We used Skype over wifi as well as Whatsap. Both worked like a charm.

Edited by ijkh

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We have TMobile and are able to text for free in most countries. Not sure if you need to make a lot of calls but the free texting has worked great for me.

 

We have T-Mobile, too. It worked very well for us on our trip to France and England for a Transatlantic. I've also used it in the Caribbean.

 

The plan is called the Simple Plan. I don't want to sound like a commercial, but basically, you get unlimited minutes and text in the US for the base rate (apx. $50 per line), plus your choice of data plans: 1Gb=free?, 3Gb=$10, 5Gb=$20, 10Gb=$30 or unlimited=$40.

 

Then in 150 countries around the world you get 2G or 3G speed data for free. You can pay extra for 4G, I never checked how much. Calls are low cost, but not all are 50 cents/min. I believe England was $1.50/min. Still better than regular international rates with a US cell phone.

 

I did have to pay off one contract early to switch plans. The Simple Plan can be "no contract" if you already have a T-Mobile compatible phone or if you buy the phone outright upfront. With a 2 yr contract you can pay for a phone in 24 installments added to your bill. Really, just like before, except the bill goes down after 2 yrs if you keep the same phone. My Samsung G5 was an extra $25/month and that goes away after 24 months.

 

No relation to T-Mobile except as a satisfied customer.

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Is there new info for this queston? Or son said we should get a through-away phone at Walmart so we don't have our privacy compromised. What do y'all think?

Cyndi

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Is there new info for this queston? Or son said we should get a through-away phone at Walmart so we don't have our privacy compromised. What do y'all think?

Cyndi[/quote]

Phones that are at Walmart might not work in all countries.

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There was a thread some months ago about this international phone. Sounds like it is the cheapest way if you only plan on using the phone for important overseas calls. I will look for the thread and post it if I can find it (not sure which forum it was on).

 

Here is one thread although it is not the one I remembered.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2322258&highlight=international+cell+phones

 

Found it! http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2322097&highlight=international+cell+phones

Edited by Scrapnana

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There was a thread some months ago about this international phone. Sounds like it is the cheapest way if you only plan on using the phone for important overseas calls. I will look for the thread and post it if I can find it (not sure which forum it was on).

 

Here is one thread although it is not the one I remembered.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2322258&highlight=international+cell+phones

 

Found it! http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2322097&highlight=international+cell+phones

 

We had a Mobal ... never did work the way it was advertised. We have since gotten rid of it.

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Project Fi from Google. Works great for us in 20 countries so far. I also carry an iPad mini with. T mobile data plan for $35 a month. With both I spend about $80 a month and have had great connections except when we were in Antarctica last month. Definitely on my tech list for the RTW.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Forums mobile app

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Project Fi from Google. Works great for us in 20 countries so far. I also carry an iPad mini with. T mobile data plan for $35 a month. With both I spend about $80 a month and have had great connections except when we were in Antarctica last month. Definitely on my tech list for the RTW.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Forums mobile app

 

 

With the project fi can you use it on ship without incurring extra fees? Or just in the countries they list?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Project fi phones work in 135 countries. Basically T Mobile countries. At sea they are like any phone, ship wifi and cellular @sea works. The difference between Fi and T mo (I use both) is the Fi data will always be the fastest available, and always $10 usd/gb even if you go over your requested amount, everywhere. It never gets throttled. It just get tacked on your next bill. T mo data will be throttled at 2g when international unless you buy the international package of hi speed.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Thanks ' date=', did you get it in the U.S. what type plain do you have ?[/quote']

 

All t mobile plans give free international text and internet in most ports.

Last year on Princess world cruise the only port I could not get free service was Vietnam. Really keeps internet costs down.

 

Michelle

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AT&T and T-Mobile work on the same type system. (I forgot what it is called.) Other carriers, such as Verizon, use a different system and and are not usable in many countries. We have had AT&T for many years and have used it in Asia, South Pacific, Europe, and the Caribbean.

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After the 2017 WC we switched to T-Mobile. $50/line includes data and text almost anywhere in the world. Calls are $.20/minute. We are currently in Europe and are enjoying being connected with the world for no additional cost.

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I too, recommend T-Mobile! Currently on 24-day European cruise (Baltics, Scotland, etc) and have been able to get emails, FB, news, etc. with no problem at all...I was surprised that I've only used 2.5 GB of unlimited data!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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After the 2017 WC we switched to T-Mobile. $50/line includes data and text almost anywhere in the world. Calls are $.20/minute. We are currently in Europe and are enjoying being connected with the world for no additional cost.

 

If you are now over 55, T Mobile has a new plan as of August 9.

Switching was so easy.

https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/t-mobile-one-unlimited-55

 

Kirk, did you put the global plan on for this trip? (Not sure if that is the right word for the plan)

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If you read the fine print on the 55+ T Mobile plan, you must reside in the US and primarily use the US network. Extended international coverage is not allowed.

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If you read the fine print on the 55+ T Mobile plan, you must reside in the US and primarily use the US network. Extended international coverage is not allowed.

 

That is not what I have read nor was it mentioned to me during the phone calls I had with them and my visit to the T Mobile store.

I reside in the US and the plan stated that the international would not change.

Where is the small print? I really would appreciate seeing it as it might make a difference to me.

Thanks

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I thought that AT&T and T-Mobile used the same system, which allows for international calls. We have never had a problem with AT&T calling from Europe or Japan.

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Isn't AT&T very expensive to use overseas? $10/day?

 

I remember that there was such a plan. But you can simply use it as needed and not take that plan. What plans does T-Mobile offer?

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I scrolled to the very bottom of the webpage listed above. Here's the text w/ their highlighting, not mine.

 

Limited-time offer; subject to change. Unlimited 55+ General Terms: Postpaid only.Max 2 voice lines. Participating retail locations (and for existing customers, telesales) only. Credit approval, deposit, and $25 SIM starter kit or, in stores & on customer service calls, $20 upgrade support charge may be required. Not eligible for Kickback, Insider Hookup or discounts. Capable device required for some features. U.S. roaming and on-network data allotments differ: includes 200MB roaming. Unlimited talk & text features for direct communications between 2 people; others (e.g., conference & chat lines, etc.) may cost extra. Not available for hotspots and some other data-first devices. Video streams at up to 1.5Mbps unless you have an HD Day Pass. Optimization may affect speed of video downloads; does not apply to video uploads. For best performance, leave any video streaming applications at their default automatic resolution setting. Tethering at max 3G. Service may be terminated or restricted for excessive roaming. For customers in the top 3% of data users (currently over 32GB per month), primary data usage must be on smartphone or tablet. Smartphone and tablet usage is prioritized over Mobile Hotspot Service (tethering) usage, which may result in higher speeds for data used on smartphones and tablets. AutoPay Pricing: Without AutoPay, $5 more/line. May not be reflected on 1st bill. Simple Global: Usage may be taxed in some countries. Calls from Simple Global countries over Wi-Fi are $.20/min. (no charge for Wi-Fi calls to US, Mexico and Canada). Standard speeds approx. 128Kbps. Not for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and primary usage must occur on our network. Device must register on our network before international use. Gogo: on U.S.-based airlines; Wi-Fi Calling functionality, valid e911 address, & 1 prior Wi-Fi call w/ current SIM card req’d for messaging. Coverage not available in some areas; we are not responsible for our partners’ networks. Network Management: Service may be slowed, suspended, terminated, or restricted for misuse, abnormal use, interference with our network or ability to provide quality service to other users, or significant roaming. See T-Mobile.com/OpenInternet for data management details.

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SanDiego1,

Thanks.

I have been in contact with T mobile and I am keeping all the correspondence from them to re assure me.

I guess everyone has to do what works best for them.

We will stick with the T Mobile 55+ plan. They have assured me that I will not have a problem with the length of time we will be abroad.

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If you are now over 55, T Mobile has a new plan as of August 9.

Switching was so easy.

https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/t-mobile-one-unlimited-55

 

Kirk, did you put the global plan on for this trip? (Not sure if that is the right word for the plan)

That is cheap, but I am afraid to switch my T Mobile plain.

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Thinking of switching to T-Mobile but we're worried about coverage in the US. We also travel in an RV, sometimes up to 6 months. We get good coverage with Verizon but there are places we get no coverage at all -- not complaining -- we're OK with that from time to time. We just moved and get poor coverage in our home -- I'm not OK with that.

 

For those of you with T-Mobile, how is coverage traveling in the US?

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Thinking of switching to T-Mobile but we're worried about coverage in the US. We also travel in an RV, sometimes up to 6 months. We get good coverage with Verizon but there are places we get no coverage at all -- not complaining -- we're OK with that from time to time. We just moved and get poor coverage in our home -- I'm not OK with that.

 

For those of you with T-Mobile, how is coverage traveling in the US?

A cell phone tower booster might help

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Thinking of switching to T-Mobile but we're worried about coverage in the US. We also travel in an RV, sometimes up to 6 months. We get good coverage with Verizon but there are places we get no coverage at all -- not complaining -- we're OK with that from time to time. We just moved and get poor coverage in our home -- I'm not OK with that.

 

For those of you with T-Mobile, how is coverage traveling in the US?

 

We live and travel in a motorhome. Switched to T-Mobile last year and it worked very well everywhere we went overseas last summer/fall ... in Europe (friends had internet all through our RTW last year). We’ve been in TX in the motorhome since then and around Houston no problems. A few dead spots on a roadtrip to northern AL, but mostly good. Heading to WA by way of TX, AZ, NV, CA, OR later this year, so we’ll see how it works along the way. We also have a cruise to AK in June ... coverage maps look good for Juneau and Ketchikan, but not great of Skagway ... then again, Skagway has signal issues with all the carriers from what I understand. We’ll have a chance to test in Canada as we plan to drive through BC to the Yukon Territory from Skagway.

 

P.S. We do have a cell signal booster on the car and the motorhome for 3G which we will turn on during our road trip for non-LTE areas.

 

P.P.S. I’ll try to remember to post back here as to our experience. If I have not, post here again and that will make this thread pop up on my Control Panel and remind me to do so.

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What brand boost do you have?

 

Sent from my SM-J320V using Forums mobile app

 

Wilson's Trucker Antenna ... we installed ours back in 2012 ... they have newer models for LTE, but we are going to wait and see if we need it after this road trip.

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